Men’s Health/Eric Rosati
When you decide on what you’re trying to accomplish with your workouts, what muscle groups are you targeting? For most guys, the list isn’t terribly long. Chest and arms, definitely, and if you’re smart, you’ll never skip leg day. But there are muscles in your legs that you should put more focus on, just like your biceps whenever you do arms. We’re talking about your butt, cosmetically—or your glutes, to be extra specific about the muscles.
A good glute-building routine is beneficial for more than just your vanity. The muscles are the largest in your body, and keeping them strong and engaged is important for everything from overall strength and power to sports performance to good posture and back health. Ignoring your glutes is a big mistake, as sedentary lifestyles and poor posture can cause gluteal amnesia, or dead butt syndrome, a condition that occurs when your gluteus medius stops firing. That’ll ruin your high-level athletic performance and overall well-being, so you should be more than ready and willing to wake your butt up.
Trainers like Bret Contreras and Charlee Atkins, C.S.C.S. knows how important your glutes are, even if you’re not concerned about making your butt pop in a tight pair of pants. Atkins, in particular, recognizes that this type of training should start at an accessible level for anyone and everyone, which is why she designed this bodyweight circuit to get your butt in gear.
“All you need is an elevated surface [to do the circuit],” says Atkins. “Don’t have a bench or block? Couches and chairs work fine, too.”
She also clarifies exactly what you’re doing here. “We in the industry like to divide butt and thigh workouts into ‘knee dominant’ and ‘hip dominant exercises,'” she says. “Knee dominant equals movement at the hip and the knee, while hip dominant equals movement at the hip, with minimal knee bend—which is what we have here.”
Perform each exercise continuously for 30 seconds, moving from one to the next with little to no rest.
Run through this circuit using only your bodyweight when you start out, emphasizing the squeeze at the top of the motion. Perform the circuit 3 to 5 times for a full workout. Once you get accustomed to the movements, add a load using dumbbells or a barbell.
Want to learn more moves from Atkins? Check out our series full of her workout tips, Try Her Move.
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